“He Came in Like a Hurricane”: Letterman Remembers the First Time He Met Robin Williams

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 19 2014 11:58 AM

Letterman Remembers the First Time He Met Robin Williams

screen_shot_20140819_at_11.48.58_am

In the wake of Robin Williams’ death last Monday, there’s been an outpouring of remembrances of the late comic, including from late night hosts Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon. The Late Show was on break last week, but last night David Letterman, who knew Williams personally for nearly four decades, returned with one of the most heartwarming tributes yet. In it, he shared the charming story of how the two first met as amateur comedians and competitors at the legendary Comedy Store in Hollywood. Unsurprisingly, Letterman’s reaction to witnessing Williams in action for the first time is priceless: “They’re gonna have to put an end to show business because what can happen after this?”

Advertisement

Letterman went on to recount the time Williams invited him years later to guest-star on Mork & Mindy, a break he remembers fondly as a “double-edged sword” for being both a kind gesture and a show he had “no business being on.” You can watch a clip from that episode below.

Dee Lockett is Slate's editorial assistant for culture.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 22 2014 6:00 AM Why It’s OK to Ask People What They Do David Plotz talks to two junior staffers about the lessons of Working.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.